NBC has scored perhaps the best NFL matchup of the week, as the season winds down. With only three games left before the playoffs, the San Francsiso 49ers visit the New England Patriots.
Playing in Foxborough is always tough. This time of year the weather could also be a factor.
The 49ers haven’t been playing well lately. The St. Louis Rams proved a worthy opponent, twice. First, in the city by the bay, where the Rams came back and the game ended in a tie, and then in St. Louis, where the Rams defeated San Francisco outright.
Thus, I am giving the edge to New England. I expect Tom Brady and the crew to be at their best.
If my prediction is correct, then the Seattle Seahawks will have a chance to nab the NFC West division title from their rivals the 49ers.
Seattle has lost to both the 49ers and the Rams this year. Both teams have yet to visit Seattle, which are the last two games of this regular season and where the Seahawks are undefeated thus far. The Seahawks were impressive and resilient in a tight 24-23 win at home against New England in week six.
Seeing Russell Wilson these past few games has proven coach Pete Carroll right in his gut instincts. He picked the right guy to lead the team at quarterback.
Seattle’s total domination of the Arizona Cardinals and wins against Green Bay, New England and Chicago show that the team is capable of taking the game to the next level, to an intensity needed for the playoffs.
I foresee two possible problems: cockiness and laziness. However, I don’t think this Seattle squad will devolve into a collective lackadaisical attitude. They might very well be peaking at the best time, just before heading into the playoffs.
A good indicator will be the game on the road on Sunday, against the lowly Buffalo Bills. Then we will know how serious these players are.